Earthquake in Ecuador: 12 dead according to latest count

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At least 12 people were killed by the strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred in the western part of Ecuador and it was also felt in northern Peru.

Its president EquatorialGuillermo Lasso, asked the citizens to remain calm and assured that crews have been mobilized in the affected areas in order to offer help to those in need.

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According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 (6.7 according to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center). Its epicenter was located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the city of Balao, Gaya province, and the focal depth is estimated at 66 kilometers.

The office of the presidency of Ecuador reports that 11 people died in El Oro province and one death was reported in Assuai provincewhile several injured have been taken to hospitals. Homes, schools and health centers have been damaged, while roads have been blocked by landslides. Santa Rosa Airport sustained limited damage but remained operational.

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The Disaster Management Secretariat said in a statement that a wall collapsed and crushed a vehicle, killing one person in the city of Cuenca. In Matsala community, three people were killed and buildings collapsedwhile many villages have been left without electricity. Damage was also reported in other areas, such as in a supermarket where a wall collapsed.

According to the Secretariat, state oil company Petroecuador suspended operations and evacuated many of its facilitiesfor precautionary reasons.

“We all ran out into the street…we were very scared”said Ernesto Alvarado, a resident of Isla Punia, an island near the epicenter where some houses collapsed.

The initial earthquake was followed by two smaller aftershocks.

In Peru, the earthquake was felt in the northern provinces but there are currently no reports of damage or casualties.

Source: News Beast

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